The right of children to free and compulsory education ensures 25 per cent reservation to students of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections in all private, non-minority, self-financing schools at entry-level.
This year, more than 80,000 children were admitted to 6,000 private schools across the State under the RTE Act. Accordingly, the School Education Department has also allocated Rs 304.14 crore for fee reimbursement in 2020-21.
However, private institutions complain that several thousand schools did not receive the reimbursement for the second consecutive year. So far, about seven lakh children have benefited since RTE was implemented in the State from 2013-14.
A senior official from the School Education Department, seeking anonymity, said fund clearance of Rs 300 crore for RTE admissions this year could not be made due to elections and other activities.
“Last year’s dues were not paid to several schools since they have not submitted the required data so that funds would be released to them,” he claimed.
The official added that school admissions under RTE would begin in May as all private schools were instructed to implement RTE strictly.
However, KR Nandhakumar, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation, Higher Secondary, and CBSE schools Association, said only a few schools received fees reimbursement the previous year due to court order.
“If the government clears the pending payment, it would be useful for school managements to give salaries to its staff,” he added.
Echoing similar views, DC Elangovan, secretary, Federation of Associations of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu, said his forum had already communicated several times. “However, the authorities did not heed to our request,” he said.